Ernest Henry Ritchie was born on 22 Oct 1875, the ninth child of David Ritchie and his wife Mary Amelia Anstice. He attended the Launceston Church Grammar School, studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1900. After practising on his own account for a brief period, he joined the firm of Miller and Miller, with whom he was associated for nearly 35 years. Ernest was interested in many sports. In his younger days he played football and cricket and was a keen follower of rowing. He was a life member of the Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association and represented Tasmania on the cricket Board of Control. In later life he played with the ABC Bowls Club. Ernest served several terms as master warden of the Launceston Marine Board. He visited England to negotiate the purchase of the dredge Ponrabbel and was also a director of the Cornwall Coal Co.
Ernest married Florence Tyson on 5 Jan 1911 in Launceston. They had five children, all born at their residence at 3 College Street, Launceston: Joan Amelia, 26 Feb 1913; Ernest Maxwell, 27 Oct 1914; Lorraine Anstice, 1 Jan 1918; John and Mary. Ernest died on 17 May 1935 aged 59. The funeral left his residence in College Street for the Carr Villa Cemetery where he was interred in the monumental Section B15 No. 123.